Thursday, December 23, 2010

DIY Gift Wrapping Ideas

It's December 23rd, and I betcha half of you haven't finished wrapping gifts yet. Am I right? I, on the other hand, finished a couple of days ago at which point pigs actually began to fly. I know, crazy. So for those of you still in need of some gift wrapping encouragement and ideas, I've scoured the interwebs to find some simply, fun and totally DIY gift wrap ideas. No grab those scissors and get ready to wrap!

Shoestrings and kerchiefs never looked so cute.

A pair of baby socks look like mini-stockings. Gimme gimme.

A sweet collection of gift wrap ideas by Greg Likes Weddings.

Potato stamps, marbling and googly eyes, I would expect nothing less from UO.
And finally, here's a list of some of my very own DIY gift wrap must-haves: - fabric and felt scraps - baker's twine - raffia in various colors - burlap - pine cones, acorn caps and other things gathered from my backyard - old clothes that can be cut up to use as wrapping - large wooden beads Happy Wrapping, y'all! by Stephanie/tefi

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Restocked Brooches + Some Church Rubble

After an incredibly successful Jingle Bash, followed by a boon of online sales and setting up my new shop at Indie Genius, I've finally begun creating more fabric pieces to list in my Etsy shop. Whew. Here are four new brooches made with the finest linen fabric from Kokka's Echino line. Get 'em now so I can keep making more! Also, new necklace designs in the making just in time for release this Spring! (if not sooner since I can't keep a lid on my designs). Stay tuned! [Notice the slab I used as a backdrop for my brooches (above). I took it from a pile of rubble left over from the 94-year old Oak Cliff Christian church that DISD saw fit to tear down to make room for a softball field. It was a beautiful old church just blocks from where Lee Harvey Oswald shot Officer Tippet then escaped to the Texas Theater just before being arrested. This is where I live.]

I betcha my slab is pictured in the pile of rubble above. *sigh* First photo: credit unknown Second photo: Melissa Hennings

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Etsy Dallas Holiday Garland Tutorial

Reposted from the Etsy Dallas blog; written and handmade by Cheyne of CutOutAndCollect When it came time to decorate for our Jingle Bash, the Deco Squad planners (Cheyne, Laura and Larry) really wanted to echo the theme created in our gorgeous event fliers, by our own Christina of paperfingers. We decided to make a very simple felt garland that played on her beautiful leafy design. We ended up liking the garland so much that we wanted to share how to make it! It's seriously quick, inexpensive, and very versatile. Not crafty yourself? Skip to the bottom to find out how you can win the tutorial example - a 12 foot handmade garland the perfect length to decorate a doorway or mantle! What you'll need: - felt* - scissors - thread to match your most frequently occurring felt color - sewing machin - holiday music playlist worthy of your awesomeness. (Wham!'s "Last Christmas" on repeat is clearly your only option.) - hot chocolate or coffee. (It works like magic, trust me.) * We approximate the felt turns into at least 6 feet of garland per half yard of 36" wide felt on the bolt. So if you'd like at least 18 feet, buy 1.5 yards total. This is approximate and will vary on the leaf size, the spacing when sewn together, and how conservatively you lay out your leafs for cutting.
Choose your garland color scheme and gather your supplies. The Deco Squad chose the colors to match our Jingle Bash artwork. I'd love to do a gorgeous aqua and silver/grey garland!
Turn up "Last Christmas" on high volume, get that hot chocolate close to you, find a table to get to cutting. This step is clearly very important.
Cut your felt into nice little leaves. We made the ones for the Jingle Bash fairly large because we need to cover larger areas. I made my example leaves about 3 inches long. If you're not comfortable with a trial and error approach of cutting directly on the felt, draw out some leaves on paper and hold/pin the paper to the felt and cut around your drawn shape. After you've found the shape and size you like, it's easy to hold the original leaf onto the felt and cut replicas. Don't like our shape or need to print out a template? Click here to help you find something you like.
Work out the placement of your leaves. I chose three colors for the example garland so the colors would alternate well. Tip: You can pin your leaves to each other or on to a tracing paper backing if you aren't comfortable with placing them as you sew. Just rip the tracing paper off after it's sewn together. I chose to skip this step because I found it was easier to play with the placement as I sewed. You should be able to keep a straight stitch down the middle of the garland, catching the bottom/side of each leaf as you sew down. If you chose not to pin your leaves together, just add each leaf as you sew, paying attention to placement. Here's a tiny video of how that's done:

Tip: You may find that stitching in a curve back and forth catches more of each leaf and make a more structured garland. Be prepared to play with it a bit! And don't be completely scared of the seam ripper if you don't like your first try! Warning! This requires your hands to be very close to the needle. Please be aware of where your hands are. I've sewn through my fingernail (not with this project). I don't recommend it. It doesn't leave a cool war wound, it's mainly just painful and scary.
Drape it up on your mantle, on your tree, or in the doorway. Pretty! Put your own spin on it! Sew some ribbon on the end to tie to things, sew a short version with ribbon ends and make a grecian headband, choose super high quality wool felt and make a scarf! Show us what you make!
Or skip all that and comment on this blog post to win our leafy garland. Include your email address and we'll pick a winner at random to receive our sample garland in the mail in time for Christmas! Comments close Wednesday December 15th at midnight. Reblog and link in the comments for a second entry! US residents only, please!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jingle Bash Recap, Part 1

Pam and me, soaking in all our hard work organizing the 2010 Jingle Bash

The 2010 Jingle Bash was so much fun and so, so much work. It's like I birthed another baby and he grew up in one night. Amazing!

I will be recapping in snippets since there is so much to share. First off, the Etsy Dallas photo booth was a ton of fun. Big thanks to my hubs, Jason Wright, for doing the photography, and friend, Eilene Walsh, for assisting. The two of them took some great shots and made a ton of money to be donated to The Smile Train in the name of the Jingle Bash.

And when I suggested we all get together for a group photo ala senior pic, I had no idea it would be this incredible:

2010 Jingle Bash Vendors + their favorite product

For some, the overriding theme of the night was, "IT'S TOO CROWDED." For them, this was a complaint. For me, it is the pinnacle in compliments. It means we did a phenomenal job getting people to come out and support local artists! Oh, and one other thing: It's the shopping season, people. Expect crowds.

Big thanks to everyone involved! More to come.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Best. School Pics. Ever.

These pics are pretty awesome sauce with extra awesome sprinkles. Don't be jealous if your kid chose to smile in his pic as opposed to this painful realismo:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Up Above A Itsy Eye

This is my son and he's awesome. GET READY FOR CUTENESS OVERLOAD

Now who wants some free money? Hmm? Anyone?

(reposted from the Bash blog - where you will enter the contest!)

As promised, the artists of the 3rd Annual Jingle Bash are hosting another Bash Bucks contest! Here's your chance to win Bash Bucks, redeemable only at the 2010 Jingle Bash on November 20th at the Palladium. Bash Bucks are like gift certificates you'll pick up the day of the Bash - and you can spend them at ANY participating artist's booth during the event. You can't go wrong. There are two ways to win!

(1) Comment On THIS Post
Look through our Jingle Bash artists and leave a comment below, telling us what you'd spend your Bash Bucks on. Include your email address! The comments will close at 11:59pm November 15th and one lucky commenter will be picked at random to receive $30 in Bash Bucks. You can enter as much as you like, so get comment crazy.

(2) Tweet It Out
Hop on Twitter and tweet about the Jingle Bash all you want. Add #DallasJingleBash and a link to this blog post or in the text. You can tweet as much as you want until 11:59pm November 15th. We'll pick one tweet at random to receive $30 in Bash Bucks and a second tweet at random to receive $40 in Bash Bucks. You'll need to direct message your email address to us if you win. Feel free to copy and paste these tweet examples:
  • I'll be at the #DallasJingleBash Nov 20 to buy handmade holiday gifts!
  • Retweet for a chance to win BashBucks for the #DallasJingleBash Nov 20
If your comments or tweets aren't chosen, don't fret! We have some surprises just around the corner. - additional ways for you to win Bash Bucks.

Good luck, Bashers!!

Good-Bye, Hello

In a few days I will be ready to debut a new line of fabric wall art I've been working on for a few weeks now. So far I've made four pieces and I'm in love with each one. Will have to twist my own arm to put them up for sale. (ouch)

Since I debuted my new fabric necklaces this past summer, they've received lots of compliments, oohs and aahs. It's always bittersweet when some of my favorites sell. Sure, it's a swift boost the ol' ego, but at the same time it's hard to let go of something I made with my own two hands. Recently said good-bye to the following:

Come on out to Cliff Fest on Sunday, November 14th and the Jingle Bash on Saturday, November 20th. Or stop by the new handmade micro-boutique in Oak Cliff, Indie Genius, set to open in a few weeks. I'll be selling my beaded and fabric designs at all of those events! Be the next person to boost my ego!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hellos, Hugs, and Smiles

Here's my weekend in two words: exhausted and exhilerated. This weekend wiped me out. It was the final - and my fifth - Urban Street Bazaar. Since 2008 it's taken place in my corner of the world, Oak Cliff, home of Espumoso - a little coffee shop in Bishop Arts with the best latte and Colombian empanadas in Dallas. I ran into so many people I hadn't seen in awhile, including my favorite councilperson, Delia Jasso. I also met some great new friends, namely my awesome neighbor, Lindsay of House of Introspection. She and her mom, Mary Ann, were just the nicest. I had a bit of an epiphany this weekend. It's a simple idea, but a weighty one: I love friendly people. I love people who say HELLO. I love shoppers who make eye contact and smile and tell me they like my work. I love friends who give hugs. Good times.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sold! New Fabric Sculpture Necklaces

I was pleased as punch when three of my new, totally original fabric sculpture necklaces sold last week. Each one is hand-sewn, backed with sturdy fabric, and strung on 100% sterling silver chain. There are still some left in my Etsy shop, and I'll be debuting these in person at the upcoming Urban Street Bazaar in Dallas on October 2nd and 3rd. Come and get 'em!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekend Thrift Finds

In search of a little retail therapy, Ian and I hit the aisles of a few local thrift stores this past Saturday and Sunday. Along with great indie businesses and restaurants, Oak Cliff has a lot to offer by way of thrift shopping, and I scored some awesome finds over the weekend. Don't be jealous.
This poster stopped me dead in my tracks. There is so much weirdness going on here, I don't even know where to begin (click image for a larger view). Illustrated by Lionel Kalish, I'm sure this 3M ad campaign from the 60's has a message, but I don't know what it is.

A flirty little French revolution girl plays with a toy and looks all sweet and cute.

Ian's gotta have his frogs and turtles. Seriously, it's like an obsession.

Why yes, this is a brand new Fossil bag!
Ahoy matey! This nautical print will look even better once I paint the frame red.

Give the little Dutch girl a kiss already.

I couldn't resist the perfectly plump little basket flower thingies.

A $13 solid oak mirror. Who could resist? (Hi Oliver!) Last but not least, these new shoes are perfect for the librarian look!

"I'd Rather Be Thrifting" poster by

Tefi Loves: humbleBea

Oh. My. God. These are just about the cutest little twee mushrooms I've ever seen in my life. And she uses handsewn fabric yo-yos to make them! Gotta love that. I also adore her little gnomes and tiny people. This stuff is just so cute it hurts. Check out her Etsy shop:

Monday, September 20, 2010

My First Custom Yoyo Necklace

I was honored to be chosen by Rebecca to create a custom fabric sculpture necklace for her wedding dress rehearsal and party. She was a pleasure to work with throughout the creative process.

As an artist-person, it is a dream when the client respects my work and provides positive feedback as I work to create something I can only hope she'll love. And she did! *wipes brow* Yay!

Thanks for such a wonderful experience, Rebecca! I hope you love your necklace and new hubs for years to come.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tefi Loves: Trying to be happy a lot of the time

Gorgeous and lovely, isn't it?

Art print by Sarah McNeil - $22

And how can you deny the utter adorable-ness of her porcelain pendants?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Weekend Projects

Here's a little photo gallery of the tons of things I've been working on these past few weekends, namely fabric sculpture necklaces and brooches - using mainly Echino linen fabric from Japan. Lovely! I've made tons of fabric sculpture necklaces, hair clips and brooches bursting with color and texture. These are a stack ready for the finishing touches. Lots in my Etsy shop; new designs on the way! Here's a stack of fabric from my friend Cheyne of Cut Out and Collect. She's always been kind enough to save me her scraps for my projects. Her shop: And here's another view of that beautiful stack of fabric. (Did you catch Ian in the other shot?) My weapon of choice when making fabric tags to go on the backs of my brooches and necklaces - Grandma's pinking shears. I use a custom-made stamp and permanent ink on durable linen for my fabric tags. A bird out of the cage - I love it! Wish they all were cage-free... Cheyne taught me to heat-set the ink, even if it is permanent. Even though I've tested them and the ink does not run, I advise my customers not to get their piece wet if they can help it. And here's the finished product! Stamped, heat set, and cut with pinking shears. Visit my Etsy shop today to see the items I've listed so far. So many more to come!